Tsunami-induced scour at coastal roadways : a laboratory study
Date of Issue2013
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Nanyang Environment and Water Research Institute
Coastal roads are lifelines for bringing emergency personnel and equipment into affected areas after tsunamis, thus careful thought should be given to how to make roadways safer from tsunamis. Scouring at roadways is the primary damage caused by tsunamis; however, tsunami-induced scouring and beach erosion are less understood compared to tsunami runup and tsunami inundation. A set of laboratory experiments are reported in this study on tsunami-induced scour at a road model situated on a sandy beach. Our experiments showed that the distance between the shoreline and a roadway, which varies with tides, was a key factor affecting the scour depth at the road. Having the coastal road at about half of the inundation distance is not the most ideal location. The depth of road embedment did not affect the scour depth in our experiments. It was also found that for typical tsunamis, the scour depth is unlikely to reach its equilibrium stage. The information reported in this study is useful for local authorities to assess potential tsunami damage of roads and to have a better plan for tsunami disaster relief.